• Adventures,  National Parks,  U.S.A.,  Virginia

    Self-Doubt & Caution at Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park

    “It’s worth it,” I said when I voluntarily heaved myself out of bed at 4:45 a.m. on a Saturday. I’d spent a week deliberating, talking myself in and out of hiking Old Rag and then, finally, in a fit of decisiveness, I stopped making excuses and decided to just fucking do it. Old Rag is one of the most popular hikes in Virginia. It’s 9ish miles, depending on how you hike it, there’s a 1.5 mile rock scramble I’d been repeatedly warned about and it’s listed as hard or very strenuous, depending on your reference. I was, to be completely honest, a little afraid of Old Rag. The National Park…

  • Adventures,  Life,  National Parks,  North Carolina,  Tennessee,  U.S.A.

    What I Did & Spent on a Solo Weekend in Asheville & the Great Smoky Mountains

    I really, really needed this trip. I needed to get out of town, to put on my pack and walk into the woods. I needed to spend a few hours in the car, music up and windows down. I needed to be alone in the woods, to take myself to dinner, to drink new beers, to catch up with one of my oldest friends. I just needed to go. Asheville, North Carolina, is a place I keep going back to. The first time I went, I was 19. It was my first-ever road trip. I took my boyfriend, headed south on I-81 and felt like a grown up doing grown…

  • 2017's National Park Adventures || TERRAGOES.COM
    Adventures,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    2017’s National Park Adventures

    When 2017 started, I was in Kuwait. It was the end of my deployment though and by the middle of January I was back in America. I’d spent most of the National Park Service’s centennial year (2016) in foreign lands and I came home determined to make up for my absence. Two days after being released from the clawed paws of the U.S. Army, I visited my first National Park unit of the year, in New York City, and then spent the rest of the year dreaming of future park visits, driving across Virginia to visit close-to-home parks and generally annoying nearly everyone with my incessant National Park chatter. It…

  • Tide Pooling at Cabrillo National Monument || terragoes.com
    Adventures,  California,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    Poking anemones at Cabrillo National Monument

    I always google the National Park units I visit before I actually visit them. I don’t need a ton of information, usually, just some basic history and a rough idea of what it is that makes the park special. When I did this for Cabrillo National Monument, in San Diego, the internet was all, TIDE POOLING, and I was all, what the fuck is tide pooling? Turns out, tide pools are found on rocky sea shores. They’re covered with water during high tide, but when the tide goes out, separate little pools are created. The real draw here is the sea critters who live in these pools. There’s all sorts of…